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Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

London
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Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Hi everybody

1st post so please be gentle!

I will be in Nepal for 4 weeks during October. Still looking for a good flight deal so exact dates are unknown.

I am so excited about trekking but it is so hard to decide - so many fantadtic possibilities. I think it will be one of these two. I am quite fit and healthy - I run regularly so I'm not too worried about the physical aspects. Which of thesde would be better in terms of culture, people and views?

Also anybody like to share the trip with me? This will be my fist time travelling beyond Euope on beach holidays so I'm a little nervous. I'm 25, female, a nurse, from the UK, easy to get on with - join me!

Milan, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tibet, Montagna e sport invernali, Milan, Nepal, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Ladakh, Annapurna Region
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1. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Hallo you're welcome here!

Did you check here tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293889-c152405/Nepal… and here tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293889-c136157/Nepal… ?

Both routes are wonderful!

Namaste

2. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

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France
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for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
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3. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

And here is a link about the similar question. Excellent information from the destination expert: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293889-i9243-k504…

The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek written by Alanyeti is Annapurna Base Camp Trek itself.

Good Luck!

Sheffield, United...
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for Nepal
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4. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Hi

Both are excellent treks with great views - in short, you can't lose. Both are culturally interesting too, but in high season on the main trails interaction with locals might be limited - lodge owners/workers are very busy and many of the places you will stay (at least towards the top of the treks are clusters of lodges to serve trekkers rather than 'real' villages that are interesting in themselves. Interesting places can be found on both treks though - Chomrong, Ghandruk and Landruk on the ABC trails and the villages near Namche on the EBC trail.

One difference between the treks is the cost of getting there; buses to Pokhara are cheap but flights to Lukla currently cost $140 each way. It's worth considering walking in or out from Jiri which saves the cost of one flight (not enough time to walk in and out) amd it's a much less trekked route too.

For partners consider posting on trekinfo.com and trekkingpartners.com too.

Good luck.

scoodly

Settle, United...
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for Nepal, Annapurna Region
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5. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Scoodly's point about transport to and from the trail head is very valid not only in terms of cost, but also that from Pokhara at the end of the ABC trek you haven't got the same 'Will I or won't I get out ?' worry that you may have at Lukla after EBC. From Pokhara you can always get road transport back to Kathmandu.

If you did decide to do EBC but to fly only one way and travel by road from Shivalaya I'd suggest that you do the Jiri or Shivalaya to Lukla walk on the way in. It gives you a chance to enjoy rural Nepal, to acclimatise to altitude (reaching 3500 metres in crossing the Lamjura La) and to the culture, and it's a week of very pleasant trekking, with far fewer trekkers than you'll meet in the Lukla to EBC section.

Edited: 28 May 2013, 16:02
London
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6. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Hi guys!

Brillaint thank you. It has helped me to decide and I'm going for the big one! EBc here I come. I arrive in kathmandu on the 4th October so if there is anybody out there who wants to join me get in touch.

I'm not sure how to make this happen, British companies seem so se expensive but cover all bases I think, there so many companies in nepal. I've doen a lot of research but its a case of wood for the trees and I'm going round in circles. I did contact some of those people sent messgaes about but to be honest it has not helped. Everything seems to change as during Email conversations.

How should I sort it out?? A wide question!! but if somebody could say do it like this I might be able to overcome indecision. Is a group best or should I get a guide for myself? Is it safe alone?

All help wellcome.

Cumbria
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7. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

A Local Nepal Outfit is the way to go and The Best “Advice” I can give is to be very careful when choosing your trekking agent, there are some excellent ones out there, but also a few sharks !!

Be especially careful about accepting recommendations from unsolicited emails – These should be reported to the site moderators so action can be taken against the TA members who sent them

Whatever agent you decide to use, don’t tie yourself into one agent before you arrive in Nepal by paying a hefty deposit – More info on this Here

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293889-i9243-k5…

Come up with a short list of recommendations and then email who you think are your best options and ask to meet with your trekking staff once you arrive. Then, when you are satisfied with everything you can make your final decision

When hiring out “Staff” the secret of a successful trek is to set the ground rules Before you leave Kathmandu and these rules should include

1) Always interview your “Staff” Before you go trekking with them, Preferably get them to give you a walking tour around Kathmandu, Then they are away from the office, will be able to talk freely and you will be in a better position to judge their ability to communicate, character and if you are going to be able to get on well enough with them on your trek.

2)Ask if he has already trekked the route you are going on and how many times

3) Tell them that You Always retain the final say where you will stay and where and when you will eat.

Personally I am Happy to look at places recommended by my “Staff” (As I am aware that some places look after Nepali’s a lot better than others, better accommodation as well as better / cheaper food for them + if they get a little kick-back then as long as I am happy with the standard as well as the price that I am paying this doesn’t bother me)

4) I also mention to them that as long as I am happy with their services then they will get a Good Tip – I think this clears the air and gives your “Staff” that extra incentive to ensure that you are well looked after.

5) The agent that I use provides all his “Staff” with a mobile phone – I also think this is an excellent idea so that if there is a problem then (providing you have a phone Signal) these can be Quickly sorted out.

6) Before I start a trek is to have a rough schedule, then I know approximately how many days I will be trekking for, to this I usually add one buffer day, so If all goes according to plan I am usually back from my trek one day ahead, With this the agent that is use I can claim one days fees back, but in reality, as I have always been happy with my treks, I have never done this, but have ensured that my “Staff” are still paid the extra day.

Another system that the agent I use has is that if you want to extend your trek, if it takes longer than originally anticipated or if for what ever reason you are delayed then you can pay your “Staff” direct. This works well for everyone as the “Staff” in actual fact get more money as there is no agents commission deducted and as the agent has already had his cut he is (Or should be) happy as well.

7) It is also worth making 100% sure that your “Staff” are insured and that the agent is making sure that their clothing is up to the standard for the area / season you are trekking in.

It may sound like a bit of a list – But personally I think it is well worth that little extra effort at the beginning of your trek to help minimise potential unforeseen problems later :-)

You might also ind my Trek Report

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/bf701/

From my EBC Trek from last Spring useful too, I have included some reasonably detailed trek notes, a daily video diary, links to downloadable trekking maps, a few hints on transportation as well as reviewed the accommodation where we stayed

Happy and Safe Trekking

Rob

Edited: 28 June 2013, 14:08
Surrey.
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8. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Very roughly there are about 4 ways of going trekking in Nepal (assuming it is not a resticted area, which EBC is not):

1. Completely independently - many people do this, and for EBC route finding is pretty easy (you basically walk up a series of valleys), there are lots of lodges and there will be lots of other trekkers in Oct (the busiest month). However it may be more difficult to book flights to and/or from Lukla (unless you walk in or out from Jiri - you probably won't have time to walk in and out) completely independently in Oct due to the numbers, unless you can book before arrivael in Nepal - I have never done this, so don't know about how practical it is, or the pros and cons of doing so - see what others say on this. Your hotel in Ktm will be able to help with travel and other arrangements, though they will almost certainly use firms related to or associated with the hotel - this is not necessarily a bad thing, just be aware.

In Oct it is effectively certain that there will be quite a lot of other independent trekkers whom you could link up with - I have done this in the past, and it has worked very well for me.

You may struggle to get good rooms, or even rooms in some cases, doing EBC in Oct due to the numbers, though being independent gives you the flexibility to stop at less visited places (eg Jorsale rather than Phakding) or at smaller lodges - the big, organised groups tend to use the bigger lodges, and usually get preferential service when it is busy.

Most, but not all, the regular trekkers advise against trekking completely solo - if you do so, you will be completely dependent on others if you get sick, AMS, injured etc. Also about 1 solo trekker goes missing every year for no obvious reason (eg bad weather, doing something risky etc). I (a male) have trekked solo in the past, but not recently (not least because I now trek in mid winter, when it is much quieter).

You can get your own trekking "pass" and TIMS card in Ktm - this is straightforward and takes about 20 minutes - again your hotel can advise. Better to get it in Ktm, though you can get it whilst doing the trek.

This should be the cheapest option.

2. Organised group - in an all inclusive package. NB I have never done this, but I have observed many over the years, and spoken to quite a people trekking this way. You will get everything organised for you, and be trekking with others (whom you won't be able to choose however there should be a good variety of people), but be led by a guide who will almost certainly know the area etc very well, and what to do if things go wrong etc. You may have to share rooms with others and there may be restrictions on how much is allowed for lodge food and drink etc - much depends on the details. If you want to drink lots of beer every night, you will need to budget and carry extra money (of your own) for this (though drinking a lot is not advisable higher up). Downsides are that you get little freedom - lodge choice, itinerary, who your companions are, when you stop, start, rest, eat etc are necessarily fairly controlled - a bigger group will be more restrictive in this. A lot of guides in the Everest region keep their groups quite closely together (so people don't wander off, delaying everyone else) - for me this would be very frustrating, but we are all different (I am very independent).

Also apparently the highest incidence of AMS is in the organised groups, as people can feel under pressure to keep up with the group, even if they are not feekling too good. Having said this, I dnot know what percentage of people in organised groups get serious AMS. Avoid companies offering itineraries that look too tight, even if they claim they are doable - if in doubt, post up an itinerary for comments.

This can be organised either with a Nepali or a western company - latter I believe have by law to use local companies on a sort of sub-contract basis, and so are adding a layer of cost, but you probably have more "fall back" should there be any problems.

3. Hire staff on a "daily rate" basis - this is what I have done now for my last 5 treks - basically you get the freedom of option one, but the benefits of trekking with a guide (in that sense it is like option 2). You can pick lodges (or the guide can advise, or pick them for you), and pay your own lodge room, food and drinks bills - so no arguments or tension with guides over these bills (I have seen quite a few cases of friction due to this for those doing organised treks, over the years). However a small group may struggle to get rooms in some lodges (big groups are commercially more attractive to the lodges) when it is busy, and it could be just you and your guide during the day (but some small indy groups do join together if people get on well), though there will be lots of people to talk with at night in Oct. I now trek out of season, so the downsides of this are avoided re crowding etc, and I get on very well with my guide (I really enjoy his company - I have also trekked on the same basis with his brother, both are qualified guides). Staff can be hired on a daily rate basis either from trekking companies, or direct (which is what I do) but for this you would need good recommendations (hiring someone straight off the internet would be a bit risky, I feel, unless you can good, genuine references from western clients - check the use of English if you email former clients).

Within reason you will get good flexibility re the itinerary, which is a big advantage over option 2, if you want to take a rest day, spend extra time somewhere, skip somewhere and so on. Also if you have a spare or extra day and want to go to say Thame or Chhukung (both are well worth seeing) you can do this - the guide will be getting paid so won't be bothered (if arranging through an agency, you will need to agree the scope for adding days and how they are paid. I pay my guide directly, so this is not a problem for me). My guide takes out his own insurance (for himself) for his private work - this is important, so if you go this route, do tell the guide that he or she must have this (it is not difficult for them to obtain).

You can also hire porters this way, but I have never used porters.

4. Another option is a part way between options 2 and 3. You get an all inclusive package from a trekking company, but either you are the only client, or it is a very small group (if some friends want and are able (re money, leave etc) to trek with you). You basically agree an itinerary with the company. Quite a few of the smaller trekking companies will put togehter bespoke packages like this.

All these options have their upsides and downsides, and just about every firm, lodge and guide, it seems, has had someone complain about them, as well as many praise them. Do though pay careful attention to any reasonable looking complaints. I feel that most trekkers enjoy the experience - many, like me and all the regular posters on this forum, have become a bit addicted to going to Nepal. Also all us regulars seem to trek in different ways, so even for us there seems to be no clear pattern of or preference.

See what others say - you will no doubt gets lots of advice.

Do also be aware that there are some female guides, and companies that specialise in treks and guides for female clients.

London
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9. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Thanks for the advice it is sooo helpful!

I did think it all had to be organisedbefore reading TA but Ilike the idea of a guide so I can go slowly or if I don't make it. I have contacted some companies and guides. I have now tried some more recommendations on here but I haven't found anybody I feel I can engage with. The people at the trekking companies are really nice but a bit evasive sometimes - I'd like to know about the guide but thaye say things like 'best guide' or don;t worry. Well, I d worry so i do want to know aboout the guide. I've contacted a couple of guides so far one seems OK but I've ;ost contact (he's trekking I guess). Another one recommended on here was not what he claimed to be in the end.

It's months away yet but I do like things to be organiseed and I do have concerns being a woman travelling on my own. Any recommendations for a guide?

Kathmandu, Nepal
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10. Re: Annapurna base camp or Everest base camp?

Hi Lisa

yes you have already many useful info.

try to talk with several trekking companies or if you have some recommended guide already talk with them and pick one between them. i think its better to go to trek with private guide than group joining. you can always customize your trip after talking with your guide if you are on group on your trek you should follow what groups does. yes it is safe to travel in Nepal as female solo traveler but you should hire guide from register trekking company. And you may do some sightseeing trip around kathmandu before you go to trekking with your trekking Guide.

So find good Guide and start your trek. still you have enough time to arange guide for you.

Goodluck

Sali

Edited: 03 July 2013, 11:26